Friday, March 31, 2006

The Nutty Professor

Leah went home this weekend, so I'm looking at a few lonely/boring days ahead. I guess I should get used to it, since we won't be living together for too much longer. . .but I've realized lately that it's going to be a lot more difficult than I thought to say goodbye to her. :(

She and I met for lunch yesterday, and she told me yet another story about her crazy professor. This guy is pretty funny--he's random as ever. And I told her, "Trust me--you will have many crazy and weird professors throughout college. It's like a requirement for a professor to be a bit strange." I laugh whenever I think about the random profs I had in college, and how my friends and I would actually take notes of the hilarious acts or sayings in order to share them with each other later if we'd missed class-- "You missed what Dr. G did this morning!"

Most TLU students and alumni would probably agree on which professor is absolutely, positively the most hilariously weird: Dr. Roger Guy (can't find a picture of him! dang).

He's a sociology professor, so naturally, he's curious as to how people react to things, what will get them going, etc. I don't think anyone knows for sure whether the things he does are simply him or whether he's trying to get a reaction from everyone. I think it's a bit of both. I can't even describe the silly things he'd do--to try to do so in writing wouldn't do his antics justice. I remember all of us students looking around at each other a bit awkwardly following a comment or action from him that seemed to come out of nowhere. We were obviously thinking, "Is this guy for real? Did he really just do that?" and, almost more importantly, "Are we supposed to laugh?" It was an honest question because, you see, he didn't act like he was trying to be funny. That's the thing about professors--they can do anything they want (well, provided they have tenure. . .but even sometimes beforehand, I think they're just plain weird because they want to be!). They can act crazy and make you wonder if it's supposed to be funny just because they can. They've been to school already, and much longer than you have. They know their stuff. They can give you an "A" because they like you or an "F" because you pissed them off. (Of course, we all know that this isn't supposed to happen--but let's face it, it does. Because of my whole point that professors can do whatever the heck they want.)

Now, I know there exists a committee or a board or whatever that keeps up with professors and their behavior. And no, they can't do absolutely whatever they want. . .but c'mon, pretty much. If they feel like canceling class for a day, they can do it. If they feel like bringing their latest "invention" into the classroom and turning it on so everyone can see how it works (as did my sister's crazy prof a few months ago. . .and when he turned "it"--whatever it was--on, it blew a huge force of air and all of his papers flew off his desk. He then started running around, frantically picking them up. . .just the visual of the event makes me smile), they can. Because they're the professors. Not you.

I love this about professors. I want to be one someday. And I'm sure, if I am a professor, I'll be one of the "normal" (or yes, even "boring") ones, but to have that freedom to be absolutely weird and make everyone wonder if this is who you really are. . .that's just awesome.

For years, TLU alumni will say to each other, "What about Dr. Guy, dude?" and there's a sort of immediate understanding between people who may have never even had a class together while on campus. This Guy is weird, crazy, random. . .and you never forget him. Maybe that's his goal. :)



Blogger Chris said...

I've been told many times that I'd make a great teacher/professor. Why is it that I'm the only one who doesn't believe it?

Anyway...on to my little comment in which is supposed to sound as I can relate to your post somehow...

Stu and I used to do the same things with our professors. We shared a number of professors together, and we always did our little impressions of them - or if we missed a class, we'd actually read the class notes in our best imitation of the professor. Dr. Parker, Dr. Ruzicka, Dr. Wharton...all of them.

We still have little catch phrases which the professors themselves used which we had a lot of fun imitating and which only we understand, such as "HUuuuuuGE!" "Gigantopithecus," and "Infelicitous litotes."

Ah, I miss those days.

2:17 PM  
Blogger Lauren said...

Count me in--I agree that you'd make a great prof! :)

8:22 PM  
Blogger babyboyg said...

Oh, Dr. Guy... I hadn't thought of him in a long time. Thanks for reminding me. I laughed at the mere mention of his name. I was his SI for a couple of years, for two different classes. I have to admit, sadly, that he is not as crazy one-on-one or when he has stuff that needs to get done. He's still funny, but in a not-so-crazy way. You know that tendency he had to kind of drift off, in the middle of a lecture, and then snap back suddenly? Like he had been thinking of something infinitely more interesting than teaching? That was my favorite. Always wondered what he was so distracting.

I once ran into him at a quincinera, with his wife. She seemed normal :-)

5:17 AM  
Blogger trishy said...

I totally know what Laura is talking about. He had this tendency to glaze over and picture himself in another world I, too, thought, "where the hell did he just go?"

He was a funny and completely confusing man.

1:56 PM  
Blogger Becky said...

I guess I just missed out on that one. I never had Dr. Guy as a professor and I don't think I know who he is...oh well.

But I did have some great teachers like that when I went to JuCo...

2:29 PM  
Blogger Emily said...

That's a good point you made... Most of my college professors were pretty nutty...

One Theology professor in particular, wore clothes that was straight out of the '70s and always mismatched... His favorite phrase to say when getting in to the heart of a subject was, "let's flesh this out" (Lauren and Court would like that one)

It's like going through all that schooling shorted some "social skills" fuse...weird

8:37 PM  
Blogger Lauren said...

yes! Em, good point about the "social skills fuse." I think that's true. And hilarious.

I said "flesh it out" a LOT this past weekend. I don't know why but it came out a lot. I'm weird.

7:42 AM  
Anonymous Becca Alvarado said...

Dr. G - now when you said that, I though - Dr. Gustafson!!

STUDENT:"Dr. G - I heard you killed a fish in lab yesterday."
DR. G: "It is unclear what happened."

He was funny, in an odd way...

4:51 PM  

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